APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

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APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby APOD Robot » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:06 am

Image The Magellanic Stream

Explanation: In an astronomical version of the search for the source of the Nile, astronomers now have strong evidence for the origin of the Magellanic Stream. This composite image shows the long ribbon of gas, discovered at radio wavelengths in the 1970s, in pinkish hues against an optical all-sky view across the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Both Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, dwarf satellite galaxies of the the Milky Way, are seen near the head of the stream at the right. Data from Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph were used to explore abundances of elements along sitelines to quasars that intersect the stream. The results indicate that most of the stream's material comes from the Small Magellanic Cloud. The Magellanic Stream is likely the result of gravitational tidal interactions between the two dwarf galaxies some 2 billion years ago, the Small Magellanic Cloud losing more material in the encounter because of its lower mass.

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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby Beyond » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:26 am

Yesterday, this APOD was billed as Islands in the Stream. So i went out and found a song to fit. As it turns out, i found it in the Large MGM cloud of people.

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby Ann » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:25 am

Nice video, Beyond! :D

Yes, the Large Magellanic Cloud is stealing matter from the Small Magellanic Cloud, and both clouds are losing matter in the process. Where does this missing matter go? Some is just "lost in space", I'm sure. But quite a lot of it may end up in the Mikly Way, replenishing our galaxy with gas and dust and fuelling star formation.

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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby nstahl » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:25 am

Just to let you know, the "Tomorrow's APOD" link from yesterday doesn't work. Fortunately there are alternate routes to get here from there.
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby deathfleer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:41 am

Now they found the heart of our milkyway :- http://earthsky.org/science-wire/a-magn ... -milky-way
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby Perseid-Schmerseid » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:36 am

Somehow, today's APOD reminds me splattered-paint abstract art.

Could probably print and sell it for millions! :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby orin stepanek » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:14 am

Is it possible that the SMC & the LMC at one time was (were) one galaxy and that the Milky Way ripped it apart? :?
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby neufer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:57 am

orin stepanek wrote:
Is it possible that the SMC & the LMC at one time was (were) one galaxy and that the Milky Way ripped it apart? :?

If so you would have to explain why the two have distinctive chemical compositions:
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=31905&p=204994#p204994 wrote:
<<[Andrew J. Fox]'s team found a low amount of oxygen and sulfur along most of the stream, matching the levels in the Small Magellanic Cloud about 2 billion years ago, when the gaseous ribbon was thought to have been formed.

In a surprising twist, the team discovered a much higher level of sulfur in a region closer to the Magellanic Clouds. "We're finding a consistent amount of heavy elements in the stream until we get very close to the Magellanic Clouds, and then the heavy element levels go up," said Fox. "This inner region is very similar in composition to the Large Magellanic Cloud, suggesting it was ripped out of that galaxy more recently.">>
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby Rusty Brown » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:10 pm

"sitelines"? Sightlines?
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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby Boomer12k » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:35 pm

So much going on we don't really see.....

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Re: APOD: The Magellanic Stream (2013 Aug 15)

Postby Galaxian » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:39 pm

neufer wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:
Is it possible that the SMC & the LMC at one time was (were) one galaxy and that the Milky Way ripped it apart? :?

If so you would have to explain why the two have distinctive chemical compositions:
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=31905&p=204994#p204994 wrote:
<<[Andrew J. Fox]'s team found a low amount of oxygen and sulfur along most of the stream, matching the levels in the Small Magellanic Cloud about 2 billion years ago, when the gaseous ribbon was thought to have been formed.

In a surprising twist, the team discovered a much higher level of sulfur in a region closer to the Magellanic Clouds. "We're finding a consistent amount of heavy elements in the stream until we get very close to the Magellanic Clouds, and then the heavy element levels go up," said Fox. "This inner region is very similar in composition to the Large Magellanic Cloud, suggesting it was ripped out of that galaxy more recently.">>


So the SMC is more metallic than the LMC? Would that make the stars in the SMC younger, on average, and of latter generations than those of the LMC? That would lead to the conclusion that the SMC has the greater possibility of terrestrial planets, teeny tiny rocks with carbon and real "metal" metals. Which would make it the better candidate for aliens.

APoD is so cool. It's like a random dip into a vast ocean of knowledge and mystery every day.

Something I tried to do but don't have the software to manage, could this Stream image be converted into a rotatable sphere? That would be neat.
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